JV COUNTY TOURNAMENT: West Point edges Good Hope in 37-36 thriller to advance to finals

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West Point’s Brier Taylor led all scorers with 22 points in the Warriors’ 37-36 win over Good Hope Tuesday night. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – We tipped off Tuesday night’s Cullman County Tournament action with a JV Boys semifinal matchup between West Point and Good Hope and it did not disappoint. After 15 lead changes and five ties over the course of four quarters, the Warriors got one more go-ahead basket from Brier Taylor with 20 seconds on the clock and the Raiders’ final shot missed off the front of the rim as time expired, securing a 37-36 win for West Point. With the win, the Warriors have punched their ticket to the JV Boys County Championship Game against Fairview Saturday.

TB Pendley knocked down a three to give the Warriors a 3-0 lead at the start of the game but Callahan Lindsey netted a pair of free throws and Tyler Byrd turned a steal into an easy basket to put Good Hope in front 4-3. Byrd and Lindsey followed up those scores with back to three-pointers and gave the Raiders a 10-3 lead midway through the first. However, Brier Taylor laid one in to make it an 11-5 game later in the period and Pendley nailed another three in the final seconds of the quarter to trim the lead to 11-8 going into the second.

Both teams traded the lead back and forth throughout the second quarter. Taylor scored the first three baskets of the period for West Point to put the Warriors in front 15-11 but scores by Lindsey and Ayden Black on the other end allowed Good Hope to retake a 16-15 lead. Taylor continued to collect buckets for West Point and kept the Warriors in ahead 21-18 with less than two minutes remaining in the half. Black scored on the other end to make it a 1-point game and Tucker Keef drilled a three from the right corner to give the Raiders a 23-21 lead with less than a minute on the clock. Taylor answered with another basket for West Point to tie the game at 23 with 20 seconds remaining but Keef split a pair of free throws in the last few seconds of the half to put Good Hope in front 24-23 at the break.

The third quarter featured more of the same. Neither team led by more than two during the period and but by the start of the fourth quarter, the Warriors had pulled ahead 33-32. Hank Hudson took a steal the other way for an easy basket early in the fourth to put the Raiders back in front 34-33 but Jaxon Shelton answered with a bucket on the other end to give West Point a 1-point lead. Lindsey laid one in with two minutes on the clock to take a 36-35 lead for Good Hope and both defenses clamped down for the remainder of the game. That was until Taylor scored inside with 20 seconds to play and gave the Warriors a 37-36 lead. The Raiders had one more chance to score in the final three seconds but Hudson’s three-point attempt just missed off the front of the rim and West Point was able to hold onto a 37-36 win.

Taylor led the Warriors with 22 points in the win and Pendley finished with eight. Lindsey led Good Hope with 12 points in the loss and Byrd added 10.

West Point will take on Fairview in the JV Boys County Championship Game Saturday at 4 p.m.

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